Last week’s Asian Poker Tour Main Event in Macau concluded with the 18 year old Zhang Dan Peng scooping a $215,000 first prize, but the big story to emerge from the APT Macau festival had nothing to do with the $2,500 buy-in tournament, but the high stakes side action.
The tournament drew some of poker’s biggest professionals, such as high stakes regulars Phil Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan, as well as plenty of wealthy Chinese businessmen and it didn’t take long for a high stakes cash game to break out.
Matt Savage, who was directing the APT tournament, first reported on the big game via the TwoPlusTwo forums. He posted, “Despite the light turnout at the Asian Poker Tour Macau, the cash games are some of the biggest in history as Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Chau Giang and John Juanda are playing HKD $5,000-10,000 with some Chinese businessmen”, adding that there was “about $40 million on the table”.
Dwan actually qualified for the second day of the Asian Poker Tour Macau Main Event but only turned up to play one hand, a ragged T-4 offsuit – a ploy to bust from the tournament so that he could focus on the high stakes cash game. It failed and he doubled through, asking Savage to call him back when his stack had dwindled to 20 big blinds. He eventually busted in 25th place, 7 spots away from the money.
Despite attempts to keep news from the cash tables secret, the efforts of individuals such as Asian Poker Tour Chairman Tom Hall and Matt Savage ensured that plenty of information was reported, within the rules of the casino. It was Savage who broke the news that the mammoth 48 hour poker session had ended on Monday morning, adding that, “we expect it to resume in a week or so”.
Tom “durrrr” Dwan accepted a challenge from a businessman and was seen playing heads up No Limit Hold’em with blinds at HK$ 30,000 / $60,000, which is roughly US$ 4,000 / $8,000 – approximately ten times the stakes of Dwan’s usual nosebleed inducing poker sessions on the virtual Full Tilt Poker tables.
Dwan’s combined winnings from the sessions of high stakes poker are believed to be as much as between eight and nine million US dollars, though reports are varied. Chau Giang and John Juanda are also believed to have made good profits from the game.
If the game does indeed re-form in the coming weeks, this will no doubt stall Dwan’s latest “durrrr” Challenge match with Daniel “jungleman12” Cates even further. Cates had expressed his frustrations at the speed of the game earlier this week.
Stay tuned for all the latest news on high stakes cash games, both online and around the world.